RENFREW, Pa. (KDKA) — The family of a Butler County man shot and killed by the Pennsylvania State Police in 2018 has filed a lawsuit.
Friday marks two years since Vietnam veteran Walter Weimann was shot and killed by state police at his home in Renfrew. His family announced that they’ve filed a complaint against the state police for the incident that ultimately led to his death.
“My family will never get over the horror of what happened that day. We never got to say goodbye, hug him or tell him that we loved him,” said Tammi Kaufman, Weimann’s daughter.
The 73-year-old was shot and killed by state police at his home on Nursery Road. Weimann’s family says his death was a situation that could have been prevented.
Kaufman said her father suffered from PTSD and Alzheimer’s and often believed he was in combat in Vietnam.
She said she called 911 on the morning of Sept. 18, 2018, after he became agitated that the beehives he kept no longer had bees in them. She said Weimann couldn’t remember that he had cleaned out the hives and he thought neighbors had interfered.
“It is a difficult enough decision to have to call the police to have your father involuntarily committed,” said Kaufman.
Instead of peacefully taking Weimann away, Kaufman said state police mounted a full-scale military-style assault and siege, complete with a helicopter and armored vehicle. She said they wouldn’t let the family intervene to calm him down despite knowing his mental health status.
“This gentleman, who had combat experience in Vietnam, was in a situation where he was put back in combat,” said attorney Al Lindsay.
State police said they shot Weimann because he was armed with a rifle. Troopers were cleared of any wrongdoing by the Butler County District Attorney in December 2018. The DA found Weimann pointed a rifle at troopers.
“From the best we can tell, he had an antique rifle that was not loaded,” said Attorney JP Senich. “Instead of helping this family get him involuntarily committed, they shot him in the shoulder and once in the back of the head.”
KDKA’s Amy Wadas reached out to state police for a comment, and they told her that they can’t comment on pending litigation.